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New Course Helps Strengthen Doctor-Patient Communication in the Care Setting

Adventist Health System physicians certified as starting faculty for the WHOLE Communication: Connecting with Uncommon Compassion course.

8/18/2017  |  By Mario Roberts

This summer, twelve Adventist Health System physicians completed a rigorous education program preparing them to be facilitators of an evidence-based course on patient-centered communication skills. These physicians are now the starting faculty for a new educational offering across our system called WHOLE Communication: Connecting with Uncommon Compassion. The course aims to help physicians facilitate deeper relationships with patients and families around whole-person care. Research has shown that relationship-centered communication has a positive impact on both patient health outcomes and experience.

"Communication between doctors and patients in the care setting is so vital, and this course is an opportunity for our physicians to receive training that will help them enhance this critical skill and build a stronger rapport with their patients," said Brent Box, MD, senior medical director and chief of hospital medicine for Adventist Health System.

The program is certified by the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare and designed for physicians at all experience levels, in all areas of practice. Additionally, those who complete the course are eligible to receive Continuing Medical Education credit.

"We are excited to offer the WHOLE Communication course and congratulate our starting faculty of physicians who have championed this important topic," said Pam Guler, vice president and chief experience officer for Adventist Health System. "Our hospitals and caregivers provide a level of care that is personal and compassionate, where connecting and communicating with patients is key. Offering this type of patient-focused training and support to physicians will only help enhance those patient interactions and cultivate deeper doctor-patient relationships that result in enhanced care and experience."

WHOLE Communication brings deeper focus to critical communication skills measured by patient experience feedback tools such as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and medical practice setting surveys, providing evidence-based content that emphasizes practical skills to strengthen relationships as physicians engage with patients and families.

The starting faculty members for WHOLE Communication are: Brent Box, MD, Adventist Health System; John Guarneri, MD, Florida Hospital; Jorge Gonzalez, MD, Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center; Gregorie Constant-Peter, MD and Amit Desai, MD, Florida Hospital Medical Group; Kris Gray, MD and Sabrina Beecham, MD, Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center; Ravi Akella, MD, Florida Hospital Orlando; Brendan O'Malley, MD, Florida Hospital Tampa; Syed Irfan Ali, MD, Florida Hospital (West Florida Division); Joe Joyave, MD, Gordon Hospital; and Dennis Haslam, MD, Texas Health Huguley Fort Worth South.